Something came up and we got a bit out of whack here. I’ll be back on track tomorrow with our standard fare but I wanted to drop you a line with a quick little item I was thinking about over the weekend that didn’t get much coverage when it was going on. It was(is?) called Ubica To Casa (Locate Your House).

 As we have discussed, 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism began trampling on lawful rights early on with things like expropriations. Remember the numbers? Ecuador, also a socialist country, had about a hundred or 120 during the same time frame Chavismo expropriated 1,400 businesses. They have also done unilateral things like giving control of PDVSA, the government owned oil company, over to the military when they could no longer afford to pay them for their loyalty. There are other examples of this which we will get into in subsequent chapters of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole but they did something along those lines to buy loyalty when they couldn’t keep up the pace of Mission Vivienda, free government houses (remember, the ones with no electric meters?). When they fell behind giving away free houses (there wasn’t really unencumbered ownership) they needed to try and keep the support of the population so they came up with Ubica Tu Casa.

 The government started canvassing the country with people much like census takers only they weren’t counting heads. They were trying to find unoccupied houses, apartments,etc. that they could use to let people live in,sort of a “squatter’s rights” situation. Anybody wanting a place to live could contact the government and they would be given a location of a property that was vacant at the time and potential squatters could just move in and then the owners of the properties would have to go through the lengthy process of getting them out (sounds like California huh?). If you owned a second home or rental property you were in the cross hairs.

 For those of you historically challenged there was a document signed in 1215 called The Magna Carta which has been called one of history’s most important documents. It laid the foundation for individual liberty and that sovereign governments were subject to the rule of law. It gave free citizens the right to own and inherit property and is a right against the uncompensated taking of property. Many expropriations have difficulty with that second part but if you’re trying to get a fair price for something the Chavistas expropriated good luck.

 In this case,however, the government wasn’t really taking the property. They were simply sharing the information that there was unoccupied property out there and if somebody wanted to “test the waters” by squatting in these locations the government not only wouldn’t stand in their way but would cooperate.

 Fortunately for most property owners the word that this was happening spread quickly and gated communities refused entry as well as high rise apartment buildings etc. and owners of second homes got either house sitters or security. When it became too difficult to actually do what they intended the government,as well as potential squatters, lost interest. What does remain though is another example of socialists trampling on the rights of the individual despite guarantees in their own constitution  derived from laws in place since 1215. Chavismo respects nothing!

 See ya’ tomorrow morning.

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